Business Digest - June, 2008

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Surviving a natural gas leak    The heart & brain connection    Tips for safe apartment living

Kids Say the Darnedest Things

Teachers know that school kids can come up with some very interesting ideas. Here are some gems from test papers turned in by children:

The future of "I give" is "I take."

The parts of speech are lungs and air.

The inhabitants of Moscow are called Mosquitoes.

A census taker is man who goes from house to house increasing the population.

H2O is hot water and CO2 is cold water.

The general direction of the Alps is straight up.

Most of the houses in France are made of plaster of Paris.

The spinal column is a long bunch of bones. The head sits on the top and you sit on the bottom.

One of the main causes of dust is janitors.

One byproduct of raising cattle is calves.

The four seasons are salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.

The word trousers is an uncommon noun because it is singular at the top and plural at the bottom.

Syntax is all the money collected at the church from sinners.

The blood circulates through the body by flowing down one leg and up the other.

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Surviving a Natural Gas Leak

Natural gas is one of the safest fuels when used properly. However, if you do encounter a leak of natural gas, you should be prepared for this emergency. Natural gas has no odor in its natural state. Because of this, utility companies add a chemical called mercaptan, which has a distinctive odor, often described as smelling like sulfur or rotten eggs. This allows you to detect even a small leak. If you detect this smell or can hear gas escaping, take these steps immediately:

  • Leave your home or building right away. If the gas leak is outdoors, evacuate the area where the gas is escaping.
  • Do not call for assistance from inside your home. Use of your home or a cell phone could cause the accumulating gas to ignite.
  • Do not turn lights on or off.
  • Do not use your garage door opener.
  • Do not smoke or light a match.
  • Once you are safely out of the area of the gas leak, call your utility company or 911 for assistance.
  • Do not return to the area until it has been cleared by emergency personnel. If a fire does start, do not try to put it out yourself.

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The Heart and Brain Connection

While the exact causes of Alzheimer's disease are not fully understood, it is known that the most important risk factors are advanced age and family history. Researchers are beginning to learn that heart health plays an important part in keeping your brain healthy as well. The blood vessels to your heart are similar to those that lead to your brain. Adopting heart-healthy behavior, therefore, will also have an effect on your brain function.

Some of the same advice given to keep your cardiovascular system in good shape also applies to helping your brain work as effectively as possible. Not only will you improve your heart and brain health, your overall health will improve too. These strategies include:

  • Regular exercise
  • Not smoking
  • A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean, protein-rich foods
  • Keeping your blood pressure under control
  • Reducing your cholesterol and blood sugar levels if they are high

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Tips for Safe Apartment Living

Fire safety is a prime concern when living in an apartment, as many families live so close together in small connected homes. To be safe in your apartment, remember these tips:

  • Make sure your smoke alarm is in good working order. Check the batteries once a month and replace them each time you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time.
  • Know where the fire extinguishers are located in your community. You may also wish to keep a small extinguisher in your apartment near the cooking area.
  • Have a fire emergency plan for your family. Know at least two ways to get out of your apartment and practice this drill with your children until they feel comfortable with the plan. Choose a location to meet outside in the event of a fire evacuation.
  • Do not use a charcoal barbeque grill on a balcony or near a wall.
  • Do not park in a fire zone or near a fire hydrant. Be sure to tell your visiting friends and family where it is safe to park.
  • Find out if any of your neighbors are elderly or disabled. They may need extra help getting out in the event of a fire. If you are unable to help them yourself, you can direct firefighters to their apartment.

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